A swashbuckling century by promising batsman Craig Cachopa highlighted the second day of play in the Plunket Shield clash between Auckland and Central Districts at the Eden Park Outer Oval.
Cachopa scored 145 in Auckland’s first innings total of 348 off 100.5 overs, which came in response to the Stags’ first day total of 233.
The innings is Cachopa’s third first-class century in just his ninth match, while increasing his average to a top-notch 62.67.
The 21-year-old South Africa-born batsman came to the crease with his side slightly shaky at 62 for 2, but got into his work at an impressive clip.
Cachopa combined with Michael Guptill-Bunce (47), first cousin of the New Zealand test opener, before putting together a 103-run fourth wicket stand with skipper Gareth Hopkins (32).
He would finally hole out to international veteran Matt Sinclair off Black Caps test seamer Doug Bracewell, but not before slashing 16 fours and 7 sixes in his 196-ball knock.
Cachopa’s wicket would spark an Auckland collapse, with six wickets falling for 63 runs.
Only slugging middle order bat Colin de Grandhomme, who compiled a measured 28 off his 74 balls, and off-spinner Bruce Martin (22) offered any resistance.
Young seamer Bevan Small was the catalyst for this, with the 20-year-old taking career-best figures of 5 for 61 off his 18.5 overs.
Cachopa’s older brother Carl was tight for the visitors with the ball, with Auckland only managing 26 runs off his 14 overs.
Central Districts trailed by only 8 runs at stumps yesterday, ending the day at 107 without loss.
Former Black Cap Jamie How (55) and ex-Auckland representative Jeet Raval (52) were unbeaten at the crease, with the hosts’ veteran seam attack, headlined by Chris Martin and Michael Bates, unable to peg the visitors back late in the day.
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